Grace Muradzikwa bows out of CFI

Grace Muradzikwa bows out of CFI
NicozDiamond Insurance managing director, Grace Muradzikwa

NicozDiamond Insurance managing director, Grace Muradzikwa

CFI Holdings Limited chairperson, Grace Muradzikwa resigned from the listed agro industrial group on Monday, as the group’s feuding major shareholders head into battle at a December 6 extraordinary general meeting.
Muradzikwa’s resignation came after Willoughby’s Investments, an investment vehicle controlled by British investor Nicholas van Hoogstraten, wrote to the CFI board demanding the resignation of directors it said were linked to the National Social Authority (NSSA) before the EGM.
Van Hoogstraten and fellow major shareholder, Stalap Investments, owned by NSSA and Zimre Holdings, are in a fierce battle for control at CFI.
Stalap Investments this week issued a statement backing its board nominees and offering support for any legal action they might take against Van Hoogstraten and Willoughby’s over “unfounded derogatory statements” made against the directors.
The property baron is pushing for the reversal of CFI’s $18 million sale of Langfords Estates to Fidelity Life, approved at a CFI EGM in October 2015.
When CFI shareholders overwhelmingly gave the nod to the deal, Muradzikwa, the NicozDiamond Insurance chief executive officer, had not assumed her role as chairperson.
Under the Langford transaction, CFI sold 81 percent shareholding in the 841-hectare estate to Fidelity, which has been diversifying into the property market.
Van Hoogstraten claims that there was conflict of interest in the transaction after Zimre Holdings, which holds shareholding in both Fidelity and CFI, voted at the 2015 EGM.
He claims that NSSA was also in conflict of interest when it cast its vote.
NSSA has denied his claim.
Although Muradzikwa was not immediately available to comment, Van Hoogstraten confirmed Muradzikwa’s resignation on Monday.
“I hear that Grace has resigned this morning,” van Hoogstraten told The Financial Gazette.
“The shareholder requisitioned EGM to cancel the fraudulent sale of the Langford Estates land is scheduled… we will thereafter purge the CFI Board of any remaining Zimre/Stalap/NSSA related directors,” van Hoogstraten said.
Stalap, in its press statement, said it stood by its nominees on the CFI board and restated its support for the Langford transaction.
“Stalap Investments still supports and upholds the Langford land for debt swap transaction which prevented the foreclosure of CFI assets by financial institutions and other creditors to the benefit of all shareholders,” the investment vehicle said.
“Further to that, Stalap will continue to pursue the value preserving and accretive initiatives that will ensure that long term return on investments is attained by CFI for the benefit of all shareholders and the nation at large, primarily the business which remains challenged due to selfish interests by a few blocks of opposing shareholders.”
On Tuesday, CFI notified shareholders of the EGM, requisitioned by Willoughby’s, slated for December 6.
Willoughby’s move to oust NSSA-related directors from the CFI board follows similar action by the statutory pension fund on Van Hoogstraten’s nominees on the Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG) board last month.
NSSA demanded the resignation of the three RTG board members after increasing its shareholding in the csountry’s second largest hotel chain to 60 percent last month.
It threatened to requisition an EGM for this purpose on October 20 to pass a resolution for the dismissal of Thandiwe Mlobane, Shingi Chibanguza and Ian Haruperi, unless they designed.
The EGM did not take place and it could not be immediately established if the targeted directors resigned.
newsdesk@fingaz.co.zw

  • Alex Saunders

    Something must be very special about CFI Holdings why all these fights

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